Philippines guarding tugboat from Indonesia with Covid-positive crew


Philippine authorities are “tightly guarding” a tugboat that came from Indonesia and is carrying 11 crew members who tested positive for Covid-19.

The MT Clyde arrived on Tuesday and anchored 8 kilometres off the shore of Santo Domingo town in Albay province, more than 330 kilometres south-east of Manila, said Gremil Alexis Naz, a spokesman for the regional civil defence office.

“The ship is tightly guarded by members of an incident management team composed of members of the police, the port authority, the local government and the coastguard,” Naz told a Manila radio station.

The vessel is tugging a coal barge from Indonesia.

Only members of the Filipino incident team are allowed to approach the vessel to bring food, medical supplies and other basic necessities for the crew.

The 11 Covid-positive crew were asymptomatic and “strong,” according to the Philippine coastguard. They quarantined away from eight other crew members who were negative, and who will undergo another test on Wednesday.

A 12th crew member who tested positive for Covid-19 had disembarked from the tugboat after it reached the southern city of Butuan last week, and commuted to another city in the southern region of Mindanao. He has since been placed under quarantine.

Three other crew members who were Covid positive also went to the public market in Butuan and returned to the vessel before it sailed to Albay.

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